Widen out that backswing!

Many times people people confuse a long backswing with an overswing. I often here coaches trying to shorten a long swing telling a student to only go back 3/4 or 1/2. I believe this is the wrong approach and a bit of a conundrum. We have heard many of the great players talk about the importance of finishing ones back swing. An overawing is bad because something is breaking down.

3 signs of an overawing:

– The hands come apart as the clip is going back
– The elbows splay apart (usually in conjunction with hands coming apart)
– The trail arm bends more than 90 degrees

As a coach if I see one or all of these problems I will attack. I never tell a student to “shorten” their swing. I will do many things to widen the swing if it is breaking down. Some things to try:

– Place a dime on top of the lead hand thumb and cover and hold it in place with the pocket of the top hand and keep from letting it fall out while hitting balls. This teaches the all important connection of the two hands. Feeling the opposing forces between the two hands as if wringing water out of a towel is so important for backswing structure and clubface stability.
-Feeling the elbows squeezing together as the swing nears the top helps create structure.
– Feeling the trail arm staying straighter at the top will usually widen the swing and actually only allow that arm to bend 90 degrees. Inflating a child’s “swimmy” and placing on the trail elbow is a great training aid to keep the trail arm wide.

If you have good arm structure, proper hand connection and width, go ahead and take that club back and finish your backswing.